Ngulube was later released, but had suffered head and facial injuries, the source added.
Spokesmen for Chiwenga and Mnangagwa declined to comment. Other G40 ministers were also picked up by soldiers.
It said schools must ban the use of Uighur language in “collective activities, public activities and management work of the education system” and “resolutely correct the flawed method of providing Uighur language training to Chinese language teachers”.
An aide brought a copy of the constitution, which lays out that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
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He said: “It is not just a heritage to be protected. The radiance, the attractiveness of French does not just belong to France.” French is spoken by 274 million people worldwide, making it the fifth most-spoken language.
The national government in Beijing says it is attempting to introduce a “bilingual system” in the region’s schools to facilitate the dual use of both Mandarin and Uighur, but in practice schools in the region are being forced to be monolingual.
Ilshat Hassan, the president of the US-based Uighur American Association, said the regional government was breaking China’s own laws on the respect of ethnic minorities.